Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

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Turmeric
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Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html

In Ajahn Lees teaching on consciousness, he teaches that everything from the worms swimming around in our blood, to the human beings that simply sit next to us, effect our mind. If a dog were to sit next to us, and think a thought, that thought would arise in our mind. If the worm swimming around in our blood were to get angry, that anger would subsequently arise in our mind. This teaching gives a greater understanding of why our mind isnt actually our "self", and also why the Buddha taught that you become like the people you associate with. Now, with that said, i'd like to know a bit more about this teaching. Hoping to find someone on this forum that can help me understand some specifics about it. I live in a house with other people i rarely talk to. We don't live in the same room, but we are kind of close. I want to know if anyone has a measurement for exactly how close it is you have to be to someone for their consciousness to seep into yours. Thanks :twothumbsup:
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DooDoot
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by DooDoot »

Turmeric wrote: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:23 pm http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html

In Ajahn Lees teaching on consciousness, he teaches that everything from the worms swimming around in our blood, to the human beings that simply sit next to us, effect our mind. If a dog were to sit next to us, and think a thought, that thought would arise in our mind. If the worm swimming around in our blood were to get angry, that anger would subsequently arise in our mind. This teaching gives a greater understanding of why our mind isnt actually our "self", and also why the Buddha taught that you become like the people you associate with. Now, with that said, i'd like to know a bit more about this teaching. Hoping to find someone on this forum that can help me understand some specifics about it. I live in a house with other people i rarely talk to. We don't live in the same room, but we are kind of close. I want to know if anyone has a measurement for exactly how close it is you have to be to someone for their consciousness to seep into yours. Thanks
The above idea sounds like the product of defiled insight. Maybe Ajahn Lee, like Ajahn Mun, had psychic powers, which made their minds aware of the thoughts of dogs; therefore they believed every consciousness also receives all of the mental fabrications of the entire universe. Psychic powers beguile many people who have psychic powers; which appears to be the case in the Thai forest tradition. I have met both Buddhists & Christians with psychic powers. The fact that the Christian psychics remain Christian shows not all psychics have Buddhist Right View.

The Buddha also had psychic powers but, unlike Ajahn Mun, Lee & Maha Boowa, the Buddha did not have ideas about a God-like Eternal Permanent Cosmic Consciousness. These false ideas provide excellent insight into how the belief in an All-Knowing-God arises. The Buddha taught all consciousness whatsover is fleeting & impermanent; which as different to the Ajahn Mun sect.
Last edited by DooDoot on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:39 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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SarathW
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by SarathW »

If a dog were to sit next to us, and think a thought, that thought would arise in our mind.
This view is not supported by Buddhist teaching.
If this is the case we will never be able to attain Nibbana.
We will always subject to the grip of Mara.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Idappaccayata »

This teaching was meant simply as an interesting skillful means of seeing this as "not self". Taken out of context I could see how someone would think it's literal. I've heard thanissaro explain this teaching in a couple different talks.
A dying man can only rely upon his wisdom, if he developed it. Wisdom is not dependent upon any phenomenon originated upon six senses. It is developed on the basis of the discernment of the same. That’s why when one’s senses start to wither and die, the knowledge of their nature remains unaffected. When there is no wisdom, there will be despair, in the face of death.

- Ajahn Nyanamoli Thero
Turmeric
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

SarathW wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:32 pm
If a dog were to sit next to us, and think a thought, that thought would arise in our mind.
This view is not supported by Buddhist teaching.
If this is the case we will never be able to attain Nibbana.
We will always subject to the grip of Mara.

It is. The Buddha taught we become like the people we associate with. Also, Nirvana isn't inside of the mind, it is an eternal consciousness outside of the mind. So it doesn't matter if you were to have dog thoughts inside the mind, it doesn't effect the primordial citta.
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by DooDoot »

Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:12 pm The Buddha taught we become like the people we associate with.
Could you kindly quote where the Buddha taught this? Thanks.
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:12 pmAlso, Nirvana isn't inside of the mind, it is an eternal consciousness outside of the mind.
Where did the Buddha describe Nirvana as an "external consciousness"? The suttas say Nirvana is the complete destruction of lust, hatred & delusion.
This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna: the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way.

The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the Deathless. This Noble Eightfold Path is the path leading to the Deathless; that is, right view … right concentration.


https://suttacentral.net/en/sn45.7
One excited by lust, overcome by lust, with mind obsessed by it, intends for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both, and he experiences mental suffering and dejection. But when lust is abandoned, he does not intend for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both, and he does not experience mental suffering and dejection. It is in this way that nibbāna is directly visible.

When one experiences the remainderless destruction of lust, the remainderless destruction of hatred and the remainderless destruction of delusion, it is in this way, too, that nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.


https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.55
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

DooDoot wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:17 pm
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:12 pm The Buddha taught we become like the people we associate with.
Could you kindly quote where the Buddha taught this? Thanks.
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:12 pmAlso, Nirvana isn't inside of the mind, it is an eternal consciousness outside of the mind.
Where did the Buddha describe Nirvana as an "external consciousness"? The suttas say Nirvana is the complete destruction of lust, hatred & delusion.
This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna: the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way.

The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the Deathless. This Noble Eightfold Path is the path leading to the Deathless; that is, right view … right concentration.


https://suttacentral.net/en/sn45.7
One excited by lust, overcome by lust, with mind obsessed by it, intends for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both, and he experiences mental suffering and dejection. But when lust is abandoned, he does not intend for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both, and he does not experience mental suffering and dejection. It is in this way that nibbāna is directly visible.

When one experiences the remainderless destruction of lust, the remainderless destruction of hatred and the remainderless destruction of delusion, it is in this way, too, that nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.


https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.55
Nirvana is permanent. The five khandas are impermanent. Therefore Nirvana has to be outside of the five khandas for it to be permanent. My Ajahns in the Thai forest tradition teach the eternal nirvana consciousness that returns back home after you become an Arahant. If you were to ask them where it is in the suttas, they would show you passages like this.

"Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul
Name & form are all brought to an end.
With the quenching of consciousness, each is here brought to an end."

The monks I follow also teach chakras, prana, and other funky stuff westerners/scholars don't like. It's not for everyone. People can follow their own teachers, and I'll follow mine. But to say Venerable Ajahn Lee, the monk that could make people levitate, has deluded insight, is hilarious.
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by paul »

Bikkhu Bodhi's opinion:

"Nibbana is an existing reality
Regarding the nature of Nibbana, the question is often asked: Does Nibbana signify only extinction of the defilements and liberation from samsara or does it signify some reality existing in itself? Nibbana is not only the destruction of defilements and the end of samsara but a reality transcendent to the entire world of mundane experience, a reality transcendent to all the realms of phenomenal existence.
The Buddha refers to Nibbana as a 'dhamma'. For example, he says "of all dhammas, conditioned or unconditioned, the most excellent dhamma, the supreme dhamma is, Nibbana". 'Dhamma' signifies actual realities, the existing realities as opposed to conceptual things. Dhammas are of two types, conditioned and unconditioned. A conditioned dhamma is an actuality which has come into being through causes or conditions, something which arises through the workings of various conditions. The conditioned dhammas are the five aggregates: material form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The conditioned dhammas do not remain static. They go through a ceaseless process of becoming. They arise, undergo transformation and fall away due to its conditionality.
However, the unconditioned dhamma is not produced by causes and conditions. It has the opposite characteristics from the conditioned: it has no arising, no falling away and it undergoes no transformation. Nevertheless, it is an actuality, and the Buddha refers to Nibbana as an unconditioned Dhamma.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as an 'ayatana'. This means realm, plane or sphere. It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that corresponds to our mundane experience, and therefore it has to be described by way of negations as the negation of all the limited and determinate qualities of conditioned things.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a 'dhatu,' an element, the 'deathless element' (amata-dhatu). He compares the element of Nibbana to an ocean. He says that just as the great ocean remains at the same level no matter how much water pours into it from the rivers, without increase or decrease, so the Nibbana element remains the same, no matter whether many or few people attain Nibbana.
He also speaks of Nibbana as something that can be experienced by the body, an experience that is so vivid, so powerful, that it can be described as "touching the deathless element with one's own body."
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a 'state' (pada), as 'amatapada' - the deathless state - or ‘accutapada’, the imperishable state.
2
Another word used by the Buddha to refer to Nibbana is 'sacca', which means 'truth', an existing reality. This refers to Nibbana as the truth, a reality that the Noble Ones have known through direct experience.
So all these terms, considered as a whole, clearly establish that Nibbana is an actual reality and not the mere destruction of defilements or the cessation of existence. Nibbana is unconditioned, without any origination and is timeless."---'Nibbana', online essay.

Paul's note: The consequence of this is that whether nibbana has been experienced or not, it should be conceptually held as an existent reality constituting one opposite in the conventional/ultimate duality. In that sense it exerts a mental dynamic necessary to the practice.
Last edited by paul on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Turmeric
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

treyg21 wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:03 pm This teaching was meant simply as an interesting skillful means of seeing this as "not self". Taken out of context I could see how someone would think it's literal. I've heard thanissaro explain this teaching in a couple different talks.
You can remember that not only
do you live in your body, but there are also other beings in your body as well, such as
all the germs going through your blood system, or the worms down in your
intestines. When you look at something that makes you really hungry, who’s
looking? Is it you or the worms? = Bhikkhu Thanissaro
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

paul wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:45 pm Bikkhu Bodhi's opinion:

"Nibbana is an existing reality
Regarding the nature of Nibbana, the question is often asked: Does Nibbana signify only extinction of the defilements and liberation from samsara or does it signify some reality existing in itself? Nibbana is not only the destruction of defilements and the end of samsara but a reality transcendent to the entire world of mundane experience, a reality transcendent to all the realms of phenomenal existence.
The Buddha refers to Nibbana as a 'dhamma'. For example, he says "of all dhammas, conditioned or unconditioned, the most excellent dhamma, the supreme dhamma is, Nibbana". 'Dhamma' signifies actual realities, the existing realities as opposed to conceptual things. Dhammas are of two types, conditioned and unconditioned. A conditioned dhamma is an actuality which has come into being through causes or conditions, something which arises through the workings of various conditions. The conditioned dhammas are the five aggregates: material form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The conditioned dhammas do not remain static. They go through a ceaseless process of becoming. They arise, undergo transformation and fall away due to its conditionality.
However, the unconditioned dhamma is not produced by causes and conditions. It has the opposite characteristics from the conditioned: it has no arising, no falling away and it undergoes no transformation. Nevertheless, it is an actuality, and the Buddha refers to Nibbana as an unconditioned Dhamma.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as an 'ayatana'. This means realm, plane or sphere. It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that corresponds to our mundane experience, and therefore it has to be described by way of negations as the negation of all the limited and determinate qualities of conditioned things.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a 'dhatu,' an element, the 'deathless element' (amata-dhatu). He compares the element of Nibbana to an ocean. He says that just as the great ocean remains at the same level no matter how much water pours into it from the rivers, without increase or decrease, so the Nibbana element remains the same, no matter whether many or few people attain Nibbana.
He also speaks of Nibbana as something that can be experienced by the body, an experience that is so vivid, so powerful, that it can be described as "touching the deathless element with one's own body."
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a 'state' (pada), as 'amatapada' - the deathless state - or ‘accutapada’, the imperishable state.
2
Another word used by the Buddha to refer to Nibbana is 'sacca', which means 'truth', an existing reality. This refers to Nibbana as the truth, a reality that the Noble Ones have known through direct experience.
So all these terms, considered as a whole, clearly establish that Nibbana is an actual reality and not the mere destruction of defilements or the cessation of existence. Nibbana is unconditioned, without any origination and is timeless."---'Nibbana', online essay.

Paul's note: The consequence of this is that whether nibbana has been experienced or not, it should be conceptually held as an existent reality constituting one opposite in the conventional/ultimate duality. In that sense it exerts a mental dynamic necessary to the practice.

Nice.

Q&A with Bhikkhu Thanissaro

Q: Some forest traditions talk about the citta which does not die, that is permanent. Did the Buddha ever talk about this?

A : There is this consciousness, there is this awareness that goes with Nirvana. Even though the Buddha doesn't talk about the citta which doesn't die, there is this undying awareness, which is what a part of the practice is for. When they talk about that space where there is no hunger, that is where there is no hunger. The Buddha describes it as consciousness without surface, or consciousness without feature.
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Sam Vara »

i'd like to know a bit more about this teaching. Hoping to find someone on this forum that can help me understand some specifics about it.
I'd seen this before in the teachings of Ajahn Thanissaro, and thought it at best to be, as treyg21 says above, a useful heuristic regarding anatta. Worms and dogs aside, I would have thought it was not all that unique or even rare a view; it seems to inform a lot of New Age style thinking. Anyone wishing to take it past the heuristic stage into a literal explanation of reality could easily test the hypothesis for themselves by strapping a small dog to their head and then noting if their thoughts turn towards chasing sticks and existential objections towards cats. Of course, observer-expectancy effects might render all this invalid, so a better approach would be to provide a group of subjects each with a sturdy rucksack containing a different and unknown animal, the behaviour of the subjects then being closely examined to see if it tends towards that of the animal in the rucksack. To make this impeccably Buddhist, one could follow SN35.206 and then see whether the person carrying the snake would try to get into the anthill, the one carrying the crocodile would go to the water, the one with the bird would start flapping his arms, and so on.

Until such time as an experiment could be set up, here is a modern view from Wikipedia:
Thought insertion is defined by the ICD-10 as feeling as if one's thoughts are not one's own, but rather belong to someone else and have been inserted into one's mind.[1][2][3][4] The person experiencing thought insertion will not necessarily know where the thought is coming from, but is able to distinguish between their own thoughts and those inserted into their minds.[5] However, patients do not experience all thoughts as inserted, only certain ones, normally following a similar content or pattern. This phenomenon is classified as a delusion.[1] A person with this delusional belief is convinced of the veracity of their beliefs and is unwilling to accept such diagnosis.[6]
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by DooDoot »

Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:05 pm Nirvana is permanent. The five khandas are impermanent. Therefore Nirvana has to be outside of the five khandas for it to be permanent.
Yes. So?
My Ajahns in the Thai forest tradition teach the eternal nirvana consciousness that returns back home after you become an Arahant.
This sounds very weird. I doubt the Buddha ever taught like this.
If you were to ask them where it is in the suttas, they would show you passages like this.

"Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul
Name & form are all brought to an end.
With the quenching of consciousness, each is here brought to an end."
This passage at best only refers to immaterial jhana & certainly does not appear to refer to a permanent consciousness because the Buddha said:
Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”— “Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.59
The monks I follow also teach chakras, prana, and other funky stuff westerners/scholars don't like.
You mean they teach 'Hinduism'?
It's not for everyone.
You mean its not for Buddhists?
People can follow their own teachers, and I'll follow mine. But to say Venerable Ajahn Lee, the monk that could make people levitate, has deluded insight, is hilarious.
It is hilarious :lol: because the Buddha taught the ending of suffering (Nirvana) via the ending of lust. The Buddha did not teach levitation was the goal.
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 pmQ&A with Bhikkhu Thanissaro

Q: Some forest traditions talk about the citta which does not die, that is permanent. Did the Buddha ever talk about this?

A : There is this consciousness, there is this awareness that goes with Nirvana. Even though the Buddha doesn't talk about the citta which doesn't die, there is this undying awareness, which is what a part of the practice is for. When they talk about that space where there is no hunger, that is where there is no hunger. The Buddha describes it as consciousness without surface, or consciousness without feature.
Thanissaro appears to have seriously speculated about the teachings here. There is no evidence consciousness without surface or consciousness without feature refers to Nibbana. When this teaching about consciousness without surface was given to Hindus (Brahmas) in the sutta, no listener attained any level of enlightenment or Nirvana, which, based on the standards of the suttas, would appear to show the teaching is not about Nibbana. Thanissaro appears definitely engaged in speculation here, which is not reliable.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by Turmeric »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:00 am
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:05 pm Nirvana is permanent. The five khandas are impermanent. Therefore Nirvana has to be outside of the five khandas for it to be permanent.
Yes. So?
My Ajahns in the Thai forest tradition teach the eternal nirvana consciousness that returns back home after you become an Arahant.
This sounds very weird. I doubt the Buddha ever taught like this.
If you were to ask them where it is in the suttas, they would show you passages like this.

"Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul
Name & form are all brought to an end.
With the quenching of consciousness, each is here brought to an end."
This passage at best only refers to immaterial jhana & certainly does not appear to refer to a permanent consciousness because the Buddha said:
Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”— “Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.59
The monks I follow also teach chakras, prana, and other funky stuff westerners/scholars don't like.
You mean they teach 'Hinduism'?
It's not for everyone.
You mean its not for Buddhists?
People can follow their own teachers, and I'll follow mine. But to say Venerable Ajahn Lee, the monk that could make people levitate, has deluded insight, is hilarious.
It is hilarious :lol: because the Buddha taught the ending of suffering (Nirvana) via the ending of lust. The Buddha did not teach levitation was the goal.
Turmeric wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 pmQ&A with Bhikkhu Thanissaro

Q: Some forest traditions talk about the citta which does not die, that is permanent. Did the Buddha ever talk about this?

A : There is this consciousness, there is this awareness that goes with Nirvana. Even though the Buddha doesn't talk about the citta which doesn't die, there is this undying awareness, which is what a part of the practice is for. When they talk about that space where there is no hunger, that is where there is no hunger. The Buddha describes it as consciousness without surface, or consciousness without feature.
Thanissaro appears to have seriously speculated about the teachings here. There is no evidence consciousness without surface or consciousness without feature refers to Nibbana. When this teaching about consciousness without surface was given to Hindus (Brahmas) in the sutta, no listener attained any level of enlightenment or Nirvana, which, based on the standards of the suttas, would appear to show the teaching is not about Nibbana. Thanissaro appears definitely engaged in speculation here, which is not reliable.
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Re: Ajahn Lees mind exploding unfathomable never before heard teaching on consciousness.

Post by binocular »

Turmeric wrote: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:23 pm http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html

In Ajahn Lees teaching on consciousness, he teaches that everything from the worms swimming around in our blood, to the human beings that simply sit next to us, effect our mind. If a dog were to sit next to us, and think a thought, that thought would arise in our mind. If the worm swimming around in our blood were to get angry, that anger would subsequently arise in our mind. This teaching gives a greater understanding of why our mind isnt actually our "self", and also why the Buddha taught that you become like the people you associate with.
I understand this to be about empathy -- unskilled empathy, that is. AFAIK, they didn't have that concept in Asia when Ajahn Lee was speaking, so he described it with other words.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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